The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence mostly regarding bids, payments, lists of coins sent on approval, and other matters having to do with the buying and selling of coins, including about twelve cubic feet of letters received by the firm S.H. & H. Chapman, still folded and in envelopes, mostly arranged alphabetically by the correspondent’s last name and dating primarily from 1902 to 1904, but with some from as early as 1886 and as late as 1916; four letterpress copybooks containing copies of correspondence sent (1883-1890); four file folders of later letters (1927-1930); and three file folders of correspondence of Henry Chapman’s business dating from the time after his death when his wife Helen was running the company (1943-1949). Also includes fifteen Henry and S.H. Chapman auction catalogs, some annotated and used as bid books (1879-1932); Henry Chapman’s “Black Book,” or “Men Reported Bad,” which lists names and addresses of collectors whose names had been reported to him by other dealers as poor risks (circa 1904-1906); materials relating to the December 1921 John Story Jenks sale catalog, including annotated page proofs, an annotated printed catalog, and manuscript pages; a manuscript for a catalog for a sale from October 4, 1919; six glass plate negatives created by S.H. and used to produce the photographs for Ebenezer Gilbert’s book The United States Half Cents (1916); a notebook labeled “My Coins & Medals” with an inventory of world coins (1869); Henry Chapman’s school notebook labeled “Latin” with notes on Roman history (1873); Mrs. Chapman’s household account book (1935-1946); a receipt book (1873-1896); a composition notebook labeled “Henry Chapman, Income Tax” (1935-1945); a ledger listing transactions with individuals and organizations (1919-1930); empty annotated envelopes from the Confederate States of America in which were sent bank notes from 1861 to 1863; a set of what appears to be maps of early eighteenth century regions of various parts of the world, with hand-colored borders; and four issues of Extracts from the Minutes of the Yearly Meeting of Friends held in Philadelphia (1881, 1885, 1886, 1907)
Henry and S.H. Chapman business correspondence, auction catalogs, and other material, 1869-1949, Archives, American Numismatic Society
Brothers Henry Chapman (1859-1935) and S.H. (Samuel Hudson) Chapman (1857-1931) of Philadelphia began collecting stamps and other items by the age of ten. Educated in the Friends School, they went on to work for the coin dealer John W. Haseltine while still in their teens and eventually opened their own business, S.H. & H. Chapman, in 1878. Dividing responsibilities, S.H. handled ancient Greek and Roman coins and Henry specialized in coins of the world after 1066. The company established its reputation with the sale of the Charles Bushnell Collection in 1882, and from 1879 to 1906 it conducted eighty-three auction sales. S.H. was an accomplished photographer, and the company’s catalogs were noted for their photographic plates. Following a disagreement, the brothers dissolved their business partnership in 1906, with S.H. continuing to hold auctions on his own until 1924 and Henry continuing until 1932. Henry’s wife, Helen, carried on the business under his name after his death in 1935 until 1948. Henry produced the landmark catalog for the record-setting John Story Jenks sale of December 7-17, 1921. Both brothers were members of the American Numismatic Society, with S.H. joining in 1906 and Henry in 1908
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Part of the Henry and S.H. Chapman business correspondence [American Numismatic Society]